Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Feds boost manufacturing capabilities in the west


April 12, 2014
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Agricultural machinery and heavy equipment manufacturers across Western Canada will benefit from improved testing capacity of their innovative product designs, thanks to a $2.5-million investment from Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD).

The investment in Western Canada Testing Inc.’s (Westest) facility in Humboldt, Sask., will go toward modernizing its equipment and purchasing new equipment to improve its engineering and development assessment capacity for industrial manufacturers.

In order to remain globally competitive, Canadian manufacturers are expanding their ability to customize mass production, increasing their flexibility to serve higher-margin niche markets and optimize new product development. Manufacturers are commercializing technology innovations and assembly-process improvements, which create more jobs and greater economic prosperity.

The increased testing capabilities at Westest will complement the capital investments that individual manufacturers are making in their own R&D projects. Westest conducts neutral, third-party tests to assess prototypes of manufacturers’ new and improved products or processes. An International Organization for Standardization-registered organization, Westest provides manufacturers with testing services, which aren’t otherwise commercially available, or economically feasible, for manufacturers to use.

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Westest estimates that the modernization of its equipment will enable its clients to generate $10 million in sales of newly commercialized products within three years.

The upgraded facility will include testing labs for precision farming, mechatronics, terra mechanics, spray technology and extreme temperature chambers.

“Westest is excited to have our testing and development facilities expanded and updated through the support of Western Economic Diversification Canada. This will help our manufacturing clients fast track their innovative ideas into advanced product opportunities, thus strengthening the overall industry,” said Jim Wassermann, vice-president, Saskatchewan Operations, Westest.